real world: dc

The One Where We Finally Meet Mike’s Boyfriend Tanner. And It All Goes to Shit

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There’s only one episode of The Real World DC left, but this week’s was the most adorbs. And sad. Mike Manning’s boyfriend Tanner finally came to visit. And he’s cute! And they got HRC promise rings! Handed out HRC stickers together! And held hands! And made out! And then — SPOILER ALERT — Tanner went home, told his parents about Mike, and might have gotten disowned and kicked out of his house. Sad.

Mike’s storyline on the show is no longer about his bisexuality or his sex life, thank goodness.

The downside: His storyline is now about how some parents (Tanner’s) remain ridiculously attached to the belief that gays are less than. Even their own kids. It’s sad, but it’s real, and it’s worth showing on television — just as it was great to see Mike’s own mom on the show, as the complete opposite of Tanner’s parents.

Yes, we’re a bit late to this episode! But we’ve edited together all of Mike and Tanner’s segments. Below, from the show’s online-only segments, Mike discusses Tanner’s situation in greater detail. And how his father is, ugh, the worst.

Now that we’re in the present, and not on tape delay, however, Mike tweets: “Me n Tanner are just friends (4 now).”

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  • JasonNV

    This is such a heartbreaking and simultaneously inspiring and moving story to be shared with the world. Such courage is to be applauded and welcomed. Living a lie is not living at all. Tanner’s experiences remind me a lot of my own just over 4 years ago as a Frosh in college. I was lucky enough that my parents realized exactly the things that Mike touched on in his “confessional”. I hope that Tanner, and all who find themselves in similar situations can be so lucky, but more importantly I hope they show the courage of conviction to let their voice be heard. Other’s blindness can not- should not- be the darkness that clouds someone else’s life.

    My hope and prayers will all who are making their path, especially those who still must do it in the dark that they may one day feel the warm rays of love light they way.

  • Ricky


  • David Ehrenstein

    Mike’s remarks in the last clip are very simple and forthright. You’re a good soul Mike.

  • Daniel

    This is so sad.
    I feel for both of these guys. When I came out to my parents it was literally the exact same outcome that Tanner is having. There’s absolutely no justification to make the love a parent has for their child conditional on sexuality.
    It’s a shame that some people still have the narrow mentality to think that sexuality is a choice… I guess in a way it is a choice but I’d rather choose to be me than the person that they think you should be.

  • Sam

    Wow. That was so uplifting and adorable and wonderful then… ugh. I can’t believe this still happens, in 2010. I feel so bad for Tanner. I hope he comes out of this okay.

    Just in case anyone else was wondering, the song playing while they’re walking down the street holding hands (“used to waste my time not being honest/tripping over kisses without sparks”) is “Don’t Have To Think Twice” by Steve Moakler.

  • Mike in Asheville, nee "in Brooklyn"

    @No. 3

    Hello David — isn’t it a wonderful world that we have watched grow? Sure there is all that “two steps backwards” and plenty of homophobia, including the self-inflicted homophobia, and the on-going struggle within the LGBT community about how and when to fight, etc., etc., etc.

    There are too many issues with too many sides, one man’s “Kapo” is another’s free-thinker, “tranny” is offensiv v. “tranny” pride, Johnny Weir shines/Johnny Weir smears, and of course, our favorite personal battle, Anderson Cooper (lets just leave it at that, because its Saturday, the sun is shining, and we both love the story of this post).

    Indeed Mike is a good soul. What an empowering story for today’s younger generation and even for us older guys. Don’t know about you, but I remember the utter disappointment and feelings of being so played while watching the big “Dynasty” episode where David Carrington and his boyfriend kiss, the first boy-boy prime-time TV kiss. Shallow and hallow, and we gays were supposed to just be happy that at least this time, the gay guys aren’t beaten up.

    There are some 40 million Americans between the ages of 15-25, the core of MTV’s audience, and some 2-3 million lesbian and gay kids able to watch this program. Try as they will, but the Catholic cult, Moron Church, the Focus on {Fundamentalist] Family, Maggot Gallagher, and all those other wingnut homophobic bigots cannot, in the longrun, overwhelm the power of these kids, out and proud.

    Its a great day for good souls.

  • TheInsider

    This is all fake.

  • Kel

    Not sure where Tanner lives in CO and if the town is progressive or not but stop and think for a moment what coming out on TV does to his family. I’m all for coming out but think about the affects on the family as well as Tanner. Tanner comes out on TV and everyone now knows. Tanner gets out of college and can move to LA, San Fran, NYC (any big city) but the family is left in their town having to deal with the repercussions. They have to deal with bigotry.

    I came out years ago and my parents accepted me totally. At the time they were living in a small jerk town of a couple thousand people where it wouldn’t have been easy for them to live if everyone in the town knew about me. It was easy for me because I could go back to NYC, but not for them.

    From what we saw in this wy edited clip it was based on Tanner’s perspective. Who knows what the parents said or how they truly reacted. There is oboviously another side of the story missing.

  • Lady Ga-Gasp

    Oh its real enough, and cute enough. But the booze sure flows on that show.

  • B L Ryan

    Tanner, there is a great deal of love and support out there for you, and those like you who are going through similar situatioins. You are worthy of love and a fulfilled life! Be strong…

  • Clay

    Kel, the show’s season is taped in its entirety months before it airs on MTV. So the family’s reaction has nothing to do with finding out by watching on TV along with millions of strangers. Forgive me in any case if I don’t find their potential embarrassment sufficient reason to throw their son out on the street.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    No. 6 · Mike in Asheville,

    Beautifully stated, I can’t elaborate. I even got misty. [Don’t tell anybody, I have a reputation ya know.]

    No. 8 · Kel

    I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. Possibly that people should care LESS about the happiness of their child than the opinions of their neighbors in Jerk Water, USA?

    First off, if you live in a place where the people are so cold and ignorant enough to torment an entire family because their son is gay, then it is certainly time to jump into the time machine and move to a city in the 21st century.

    Or, maybe its time to man-up for your kid and tell those Jerk Water neighbors to kiss your rainbow-colored ass.

    But, then again, maybe that’s just me.

  • terrwill

    Queerts: Here is your headline:

    “The One Where We Finally Meet Mike’s Boyfriend Tanner. And It All Goes to Shit”

    Then once you open the thread, after knowing that everyting has gone to shit you so kindly announce “Spoiler Alert”

    Do you chuckleheads even know the whole concept of a “spoiler alert”. You are supposed to give warning to viewers prior to spoiling it that if they don’t want the subject matter to be spoiled they can stop and the info not be spoiled. BEFORE you spoil it with the headline!!

    Ya pulled the same shit with Justin’s kiss on Ugly Betty. Have you noticed a lot of regular posters no longer post on these threads?? just sayin……….

  • terrwill

    Now that I got my bitchin out of the way………[email protected]Taylor Siluwé: Co-sign. with you agreeing with agree with Mike’s post………Your message to Kel: Right on!!

    And to Mike Manning…….. Tanner is silly hot. He seems like a real nice guy. You said the “L” word to him. That word is supposed to be only broken out for very special persons. Seems like the “just friends” now you may have said those words kinda sorta too soon………..

  • Taylor Siluwé


    I think they’re even on the HOTNESS meter, so Mike’s excruciatingly adorable broken-heart will be just fine.

    But I agree, the L-word misused can be like a cold glass of water down the pants. But live and learn. Such is life.

  • Disgusted American

    Tanner’s dad..”What my son doesn’t pound pussy or eat it?then I don’t wanna live”! What an ASSHOLE!

  • Tylertime

    Confused about what the tall blonde kid says early in the clip about the stereotypical gay guy being into fashion, high pitched voice, etc. Hasn’t this kid every watched the RW before appearing on it. Whether it was Norm, Pedro, Dan, Karamo, Danny, et al. RW producers usually cast the “straight acting gays”. Weird that a young straight man would assume that all gays fit a mold seeing that it is his generation that has grown up seeing so many visible images of gays…Neil Patrick Harris, T.R. Knight and hundreds on other reality shows.

  • terrwill

    @Tylertime: Andrew is batshit crazy and lives on Planet Andrew. He has been a freind of Mikes this season. I would give him a pass for the chucklehead comments…………

    100% agree with you on how much visiblity MTV and RW has given to the Gays who are no different from any other guys you may see on the TVs except they prefer penis……..My roomate in college came from South Carolina his Father was a fire and brimstone fundamentalist preacher man. I was ascared that I was gonna have to sleep with a bat. Kyle told me he never actually met a Gay dude (am sure he didn’t know it)in person but he had no problem with me being Gay because he “was really used to Gay guys from seeing so many on MTV”………….

  • Awww

    Oh, Mike’s my new favorite person (after my boyfriend). He just hits the nail on the head.

  • Rasa

    thank you

  • hephaestion

    For Tanner’s father to have such an extreme response made me wonder if perhaps Tanner’s father is in the closet. When you have had to raise a family in the closet, you often have an extreme response to anything that could end up forcing you to come out at long last. Having your child come out could make you feel like you might just die. Normal straight guys don’t tend to have THIS extreme of a response.

  • Dasher

    This is so sad. I hope Mike can continue to provide emotional support for Tanner and ease up just a little on that “just friends 4 now” stuff.

  • Vik S.

    thats really sad ): im so glad my family didnt disown me or push me away… /:

  • Michael

    Wow this really tugs at my heart!! :( We’ve all either been there or know someone who has. For those who whine about pride and pushing for rights…blah blah blah…THIS IS PROOF THAT WE STILL HAVE WORK TO DO.

    Others of us may not be as lucky as we are to have a family that understands and/or accepts.

  • hephaestion

    I would be so thrilled if Mike & Tanner could ride together in this June’s gay pride parade here in DC.

  • mattsmith

    OK Queerty can you find out who this Tanner dude is? Hows he doing? Whats he doing? I know Mike says they are just friends but can we have a follow up?

  • gollygeegaygoy

    With young men as emotionally intelligent as these boys, there is hope for the future.

  • MuscleBoy

    Cue the violins, pass the barf bag.

  • Jason

    Interesting watching this. It’s as if nothing has really changed since I came out after College in 1991. Twenty years have passed and the same reactions and the same kind of silliness by family still goes on. I thought we grew as a society a bit more than this.

    The level of selfishness by some family members on this issue is unbelievable. To make this about themselves to the exclusion of their child exemplifies how little understanding or respect they have in the courage and honor it took for their child to take the step of announcing this to them. This is a moment where it’s not about you; this really is entirely about your child.

  • leonard

    @JasonNV: i hope you guys get back together keep us posted

  • leonard

    @mattsmith: me too i want to know if tanner and mike are still talking to each other and if mike met tanner’s parents. please gives an update.

  • SteveDenver

    Tanner’s mom KNEW her son might be gay: “Please tell me it’s a girl.” Perhaps she would have been happier and more accepting if he had knocked up Courtney Love’s evil twin.

    I havea couple of friends whose wealthy parents lavished them with cars, condos, trips, education, only to pull it all away when they came out.

    Some people with money are plain weird.

    That aside, I hope Mike comes to terms with spirituality beyond religious myth. Any story that begins with all woman forever being cursed with menstruation because one of them ate the wrong apple is sheer bull-oney.

  • chris

    facepalm @ 2:54. Defend yourself, but don’t be a drunken mess. -_-

  • Jacer

    I have and we are still going through this with my BF, he also is from CO, and is a part of the Mega Right-wing Church, that force feeds him that he is going to hell. and that he does not deserve to live, we are on and off, I can only deal with so much of it, I love him, I want him to just walk away and try being on his own, just him and I, but his family controls every aspect of his life, he has 3 more years in school, He was adopted as a child, from an extremely abusive family, he was shot, stabbed, thrown down stairs, etc. and the family are all bankers, they treat him as a pet, he has to account for every penny, and are making him live up to this impossible standard, All I know that I can do is be a friend to him when he needs me, and try not to cause any drama when we are able to be together. I don’t see things going anyplace, but I will not totally let him go for fear that if I do, he will be lost forever. Parents need to let your children be who and what they are, not what you think you can make them be. I started dating him when he was 19, he is now 21, I am older than him, he has a thing for older guy’s, I just would be happy if he would come out, and be who he is, and be able to be happy, even if it is not with me, just someone that can make him happy and not have to sneak around and worries about losing his car, schooling, money, things like that. The World would be a better place if we Would Just except each-other as we are and not inflict out beliefs on each other. J

  • leonard

    @Jacer: just hang in there ok you guys will be together keep me updated

  • Cem

    This is really inspiring, I needed something like this… Mike has been an inspiration for me ever since the season started, I can finally see how someone else has the same problems as I do. It is sad that Tanner parents do not accept him the way he is, it is a hard thing to do for every single one of us. Can’t believe that someone could do that to their kid… I still have to come out to my whole community, there hasn’t been a single person I have told about my sexuality, it is going to be a hard thing do…

  • jake

    so what happen after the show? r they still together? did tanner get dis owned? they r such a beautiful couple! and tanner’s parents r fucking assholes i really want to know what happen after? im soo anxious to know

  • Anthony

    “they’re just friends” Is that what you tell yourself lol

  • Anthony

    Does @jake: They are still together I believe. I had to look deep on the web just for a tidbit that may or may not be true. MOst of the time though if blogs are fake they say someone is splitting more often than hooking up. I’m making this lose comparison to top celebs that are single or married, and most of the time it’s splitting rather than hooking up.

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